Margaret Fitzpatrick.


Overall I would give this person 18/25. They showed great awareness, they did self-reflect but at times lacked in action.  

When deciding the Exam timetable, the applicant explained that he/she tried to ensure that the exam timetable mirrored that of the State Examinations. Later the applicant mentions that he/she adopted a “student based” approach. He/she mentions that they devised the “timetable so that students wouldn’t have long days” and that “they tried to avoid too many ‘difficult subjects’ on the one day etc”.  There is an inconsistency here. Does this mean he/she used their discretion with the timetabling of subjects? Students need to as ‘practicably possible’ experience the reality of examination conditions. There is no mention of consulting with the school principal or deputy principals, which for me would be worrying.  

The applicant knows the importance of good communications and working as part of a team and appears to demonstrate empathy. He/she provided time to listen to an unhappy teacher. However, the applicant writes very vaguely. This extract did not elabourate on what was the reason for the teacher’s discontent? Comments like “other factors need to be considered as well” can be quite dismissive. From my experience when teachers understand the logic or reasons behind decisions i.e. timetabling they are generally more accepting. There is an acknowledgement that the examination process can only “run smoothly” with “strengthened staff relationships”. The applicant encourages positive teacher engagement with the examination process by rewarding teachers with “long lunch” or a “half day”. This can be a great deal breaker. Using ‘carrot incentives’ such as these are a great idea and it would undoubtedly increase staff morale and positivity, only if its permitted by the school management.  There is however no mention of the invaluable role that ancillary staff play in the process, i.e. the caretaker in setting up of the centres or the secretarial staff who are the ‘go to people’ when problems arise in exam centres.  

The applicant reviewed the process straight after the exams. This is a great idea and good practice because everything is fresh in their mind. There was however no mention of fine tuning on the recommendation of the disgruntled teacher or taking on board the ‘constructive feedback’. This would ask me to question whether the applicant mentioned these steps as an ‘act of formality’ and was mouth piecing educational ‘buzz words’.

The applicant seems to be very dedicated to their post. There is an awareness of the stressful time examinations can be for students and acts such emailing and handing the timetable to each students, greeting them each day gives credence to this trait. The fact that the applicant followed up on any student who was absent is also a sign of their commitment to the post. I think however the applicant could have teased out more their role in setting up the reasonably accommodation centres and there is no mention of collaborating with the SEN team.   

Finally, this account has grammatical and spelling errors throughout. It doesn’t read well. Someone in management would be expected to be able to write to high standard and should at least got someone to proof read.


Overall I would give this person 24/25. They showed great awareness, self reflection and had a clear vision on the role of senior management which was decided by staff.

In this extract the applicant shows an awareness of the immense challenges that they are facing from being a Deputy Principal in a small school to that a large school. There is also an awareness of the complexities as working as a third Deputy Principal, their exact role and responsibilities, the dynamics of this new school life. There is an acknowledgement of the importance of gaining staff trust at all levels. and the forging good working relationships.

This extract shows a lot of self-reflection, honesty and real concerns. In the beginning so much so that the applicant began to doubt themselves. The applicant questioned their abilities to “forge the necessary professional relationships in order to deliver the best education for our students.” This being the primary purpose of education. By further self-reflecting there is a realisation that ‘Rome was not built in a day’ and time was needed to adapt to their new position.

There was a further realisation that with a large school ‘distributed leadership’ was a necessity. One person can’t spearhead effectively all initiatives. I liked the idea that the senior management team self-evaluated their own strengths and that of the collective. There is an awareness of the important role they have in “supporting the Principal whilst enhancing their collaboration in other areas”. The applicant also acknowledges the benefits of a strong team dynamic, how it strengthens them as “cohesive senior management team with a shared vision”.  


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